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LXX                    RISE OF NADIR KULI                   341
that he should himself proceed to Meshed. There he
pleaded that as a loyal servant he was bound to defend
his master's honour, and Malik Mahmud not only
pardoned him, but gave him a robe of honour. Shortly
after this event Nadir married his master's daughter, who
subsequently became the mother of the unfortunate Riza
Kuli. Upon the death of Baba Ali, for which according
to some accounts Nadir was responsible, he succeeded to
the governorship of Abivard.
Service under Malik Mahmud.—The rise to power
of a clever, resolute leader of men was speedy in those
troublous times, and Nadir Kuli was soon employed by
Malik Mahmud to attack the raiding Uzbegs. He
distinguished himself by winning a battle, but, having
exhibited too much freedom in claiming the deputy-
governorship of Khorasan as his promised reward, he was
beaten and then dismissed. . His experience as a leader
of mounted troops serving ^ith artiller^ and with infantry
armed with muskets must -ftave been of great value as a
preparation for his future career.
His Capture of Kalat and Nishapur.—After suffering
this reverse of fortune, Nadir, like his great prototype
Yakub bin Lays, became a robber. His ability and
success soon brought him recruits, and during the period
of anarchy which followed the capitulation of Isfahan he
collected a large force of men and began to levy contribu-
tions in Khorasan. He also obtained possession of Kalatx
and, secure in this impregnable fortress, destined to
become famous as Kalat-i-Nadiri, he was in a very
different position from the ordinary leader of a gang
of robbers, and his influence spread far and wide.
But Nadir was not content to remain a mere brigand,
and shortly after possessing himself of Kalat he decided
to attack Nishapur, held at that time by the troops of
Malik Mahmud. He first of all surprised and cut to
pieces a foraging party six hundred strong, and then
lured the main body of the garrison into an ambush and
destroyed it. Nishapur opened its gates and was occupied
1 Said Ali Khan, my local authority, states that the story according to which Kalat
was held by Nadir's uncle is entirely unfounded, and I have adopted his views on the
subject.